Graduate Specialization in Literary and Cultural Studies

M.A. and Ph.D. students who take this specialization will gain expertise in the areas of literary and cultural studies. Our department mission statement focuses on the notion of “imaginative reasoning” and this specialization teaches graduate students how to engage in practices of imaginative reasoning at the highest level of analysis and close-reading. The specialization focuses not only what students examine, but also on how they go about those examinations.


  • 9 credits from the list of courses below
  • A letter of application addressed to the Director of Literature in which the student details their interests in the specialization, and their proposed thesis or dissertation plans
  • A dissertation or thesis that is firmly focused in the area of literary and cultural studies
    • The Director of Literature and the student's advisory committee will make this determination together, but the dissertation or thesis must be approved as in the area of literary and cultural studies by the Director of Literature in consultation with a faculty sub-group in the students area, if necessary).

How to apply to this specialization

Once admitted into the graduate program the student can apply to the specialization by:

  • Sending a brief cover letter to the Director of Literature detailing their interests/dissertation plans in this area
  • Including a copy of their program of studies form that includes courses from the specialization
  • Once the Director of Literature approves the application, the student can enter the specialization
  • The specialization will be officially granted once the dissertation is submitted in the area


801 Drama (by period or theme)
801K Gay and Lesbian Drama
802 Poetry (e.g., Renaissance, Romantic, Victorian, Age of Sensibility)
802L Romantic Poetry
803A American Short Story
805 Fiction
805A Nineteenth Century British Novel
805B 18th Century British Novel
805E Modern Fiction
805K Canadian Fiction
805M American Novel I (to 1900)
805N American Novel Il (since 1900)
806 Genre
810 Studies in Literary Movements
811 Plains Literature
813 Film
814 Women's Literature
814B Modern and Contemporary Women Writers
817 Topics in Place Studies & Environmental Humanities
830 British Authors to 1800
830A Shakespeare
832 American Authors to 1900
833 American Authors since 1900
839 Film Directors
840 Classical Drama
845 Ethnic Literature
845AB Topics in African American Literature
845K Topics in African Literature
845N Topics in Native American Literature
862 Survey of Medieval Literature
862A Ideas of Ethnicity in Medieval Literature
863 Survey of Renaissance Literature
864 British Literature 1660-1800
865 Nineteenth-Century British Literature
867 Literary History
877 Advanced Topics in Digital Humanties
878 Digital Archives and Editions
889 Medieval Literature and Theology
901 Seminar in Drama
902 Seminar in Poetry
905 Seminar in Prose Fiction
911 Seminar in Plains Literature
913 Studies in Film
914 Seminar in Women Writers
915 Popular Literature
918 Interdisciplinary Themes in Nineteenth Century Studies
919 Interdisciplinary Approaches to 19 Century Studies
920 Seminar in Linguistics
927 Stylistics
930 Seminar in British Authors before 1800
931 Seminar in British Authors since 1800
932 Seminar in American Authors to 1900
933 Seminar in American Authors since 1900
940 Seminar in African-American Literature
945 Seminar in Ethnic Literature
946 Interdisciplinary Readings In Digital Humanities
961 Seminar in American Literature
962 Seminar in Medieval Literature
963 Seminar in Renaissance Literature
964 Seminar in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature
965 Seminar in Nineteenth-Century Literature
967 Seminar in Modern Literature
970 Literary Theory
971 Seminar in Literary Theory
986 Approaches to English Studies
987 Seminar in Humanities and Public Policy
988/9 Introduction to the Interdisciplinary Study of the Renaissance
991 Nebraska Literature Project
992 Nebraska Humanities Project (TEAC 992)
995 Teaching of Literature